The Long Game
Australian Ninja Warrior, it may not come to mind immediately as favourite family viewing. This niche reality show/competition came to my attention recently in conversation. Curiosity piqued; some research was called for. After a quick internet search, I found what I was looking for. My computer screen glowed with a close shot of a concentrated face. Clad in a personalised uniform of dayglow lycra, a competitor stood, every muscle tense and visible, exuding strength and agility. Cut to two commentators, microphones held high — but not high enough to obscure perfectly made up faces — they looked as if about to deliver some tragic news. In serious tones they recite the virtues and short comings of our prospective contestant. Back to a split screen, one side all fluorescent adrenaline, nerves and intense effort to remain calm, the other covered in strategically placed logos, names and statistics.
What follows is a trial of endurance, resilience and fortitude. The competitor walks, climbs and runs, strains, stretches and sweats through a series of obstacles. Names like, rolling log, globe grasper and, dare I mention it, Mt Midoriyama are heard with increasing volume as the neon attired ninja progresses through the course. Finally, the gauntlet run, energy spent, the last requirement of the race is to press a large button, cementing a time: minutes and seconds, that may or may not lead to a reward.
Compare this with the life of an Eddies Man through Term 3 in a year like no other. Yesterday, I spoke to our College Captains about how their year was progressing. The answers included words like “excited”, “tired” and “happy”. They spoke of their preparation for external exams, of the welfare of their cohort and trials they have faced and are still to face leading into Term 4. Today we celebrated the academic achievements of our Years 10 and 11 students who have run the gauntlet of a changed learning format to still achieve at a very high level. In a few weeks we acknowledge the young men of Years 7, 8 and 9 for the same feat. This evening our firsts basketball and tennis teams play finals matches in a shortened format season reigned over by interrupted preparation and COVID Safe plans. While tomorrow, all our other Eddies teams will venture to the indoor halls and outdoor courts of the seven Associated Independent Colleges (AIC) to play out similar finals.
In the busyness of day-to-day, our young men have had to face obstacles, yet I see smiling faces wherever I look in the yard. Clad in blue and white they have run quite a few races and continue to show their strength, fortitude and good humour.
Coupling the unfolding year as it is with the normal trials of navigating adolescence certainly colours the understanding of school in 2020 for our young men. Hopefully, what they experience and learn each day will ensure they complete this race, this long game. Overcoming the obstacles placed before them and finally pressing the button that cements their time at Eddies will, all being well, see them skilled and ready, respectful and resilient, reflective and responsive, prepared to graduate to the world.
Recently we trialled an alternate Teams format for Parent/Teacher/Student interviews. While initially rather strange, teachers and families seemed to adapt well to the new experience. This format remains a viable contingency for forthcoming evenings, however, we look forward to having face-to-face events again in the future. Thank you to Mrs James and her team for creating this opportunity for valuable feedback.
Catholic Education Week Celebration
We assembled, on Monday, to celebrate a Catholic Education week, that was somewhat virtual. On the day, many of the now common characteristics of school life this year were evident. Led by Fr Stephen Bliss, it commenced with a video presentation by our Year 12 leaders and flowed seamlessly into a beautiful ritual. Whole school liturgies have been uncommon this year due to restrictions, but it was wonderful to gather as a school in this celebration of faith.
Thank you to Fr Stephen for leading our Celebration as well as Mrs Rice and her team for organising this, together with Mr Devin and Mr Cowles for the video production.
You Can’t Ask That!
On Wednesday we welcomed Fr Stephen to the College for the second time this week. Some fifty Years 11 and 12 students gathered in Ambrose Place at first break to pose queries about life and the Church to Fr Stephen. One of our College Captains, Tom Parker, presented questions from the audience that were both thought-provoking and challenging. Fr Stephen’s equally challenging and thought-provoking but also practical answers, connected deeply with our young men. I am so grateful for his willingness, openness and candour. Thank you to Ms Rimland, Fr Stephen and Tom Parker for this wonderful event.
Ray Celegato, Principal